Ask the Board – October 10, 2016 | MARGOT MYERS


What are the characteristics of a quality Content Management System (CMS)?

I started making a list to answer this question, and it got long pretty quickly. I’m going to focus on what I consider to be five important characteristics of a quality Content Management System.

  1. The CMS must be flexible and customizable. If some content uses whole screens and other content calls for divided screens with a crawl in the lower third, the system should have that capability. If the content is targeted to specific audiences in different locations, or needs to change for certain day-parts, that option should be available.
  2. The CMS must be scalable. If the project starts with a 10-site pilot and then expands to 200 sites, the software must be able to handle those additional sites and more in the future as they are added to the network.
  3. The CMS needs to be user-friendly and simple to operate. This is not as significant an issue in networks where all content is controlled from a central office, but if there will be site-specific content, generated locally, it can’t require a computer sciences degree in order to use the CMS effectively.
  4. Speaking of central management, that’s another necessity for the CMS. It must be able to support both central management and local updates.
  5. Finally, the CMS needs to be stable. No one wants their network to go dark because the CMS provider updated the software, or more screens were added to the network, or a bunch of new content was uploaded.

With so many providers to choose from, it’s important to carefully evaluate these and other characteristics before investing in a CMS.

About Author

Director, Global Marketing & Communications
The Platt Retail Institute

Industry Consultants Council

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